This month, Van Dyke Parks continues the productive pattern of releasing his new music as singles this month with a gorgeous new pair of tracks that offer a chance to see what is on his mind musically and lyrically. The "A" side, I'm History, presents a series of noble musings about the period from John F. Kennedy presidency to the present day. The grief many of us felt when that promising era was cut short is revisited, with a lovely syncopated track highlighted by beautiful accordian, flute, strings, and backing vocals recalling Discover America. I'm History is a track that has been in the works for a number of years, and a live version is available on youtube here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvifW0pxvo0
The lyrics to I'm History are suitably Parksian in their content. There are double entendres, puns, and a rough narrative forward of the 50 years since the assassination of Kennedy. I'm History tees off on several targets, especially Wall Street, Biblical Fundamentalists, and Tea Partiers. Parks makes the point that all things pass, and as a nation we will be judged by how we treated those of us who are homeless, elderly, children, and have disabilities. It is apparent that he is frustrated in his inability to communicate with Biblical Literalists, and he laments fundamentalists basing their Christian beliefs on The Old Testament.
The hallowed halls of government (or Venice CA 1903)
Van Dyke Parks Loves L.A....
The Maestro Himself With Inara George
The Maestro Circa 1968
The second tune, Charm School, is a lovely instrumental recalling Clang of the Yankee Reaper. Timbales, steel pans, guitar, and violins are mixed in a tropical gumbo that only Parks can concoct. The tune recalls some of the music Van Dyke has composed for cinema, and one can easily visualize credits to a tropically based comedic farce rolling over the music here. At times the guitar almost recalls the Rockford Files Theme. If you love Parks, his last album (Songs Cycled), or are curious about his work, this is as good a beginning as you will find. If you don't know where to buy the single, bug Van Dyke at bananastan.com. go to ITunes, or listen on Spotify.
Text Copyright by Peter Reum 2013-All Rights Reserved